Say it ain’t so

Without getting all dooms day and ahead of myself and panicked and freaking myself out, please allow me this post to do just all that.

Harper has always been a good sleeper. A better sleeper than her sister – but then again her sister was a reasonable sleeper until approx. 18 months old which is the age we are nearing so perhaps they are equal sleepers? Who knows? Let’s just say the kid has been a good reasonable sleeper. Most of that has had to do with the fact that Rob and I screwed up so royally with Daisy that we were not going to go down that road again and have let her cry it out approximately 6798 more times than we ever would have contemplated with Daisy. When we were away over Christmas she was a bit of a shocker – a combo of sleeping in the same room as us, being woken up, being much more aware (Oh it’s you at the end of my bed – let’s play! Now! COME ON!) and just being out of her comfort zone. As soon as we got her home, into her own cot things looked on the straight and narrow and we got a few good nights sleep.

But then. Well. I can barely write it down. She has been having these ‘episodes’. Exactly 3 hours into her sleep cycle. These screaming, freaking out ‘episodes’ that look remarkably like my old nemesis the NIGHT TERROR that we experienced with Daisy (and still occasionally do).

This will not do. At all. Please Dear God do not let this be the case.

See what I mean about panic? And getting ahead of myself? And dooms day? I said to Rob in the middle of it last night “I can’t do this again. I just can’t fucking do this again. We are never having any more children ever do you hear me?” (I am not at my best in the night in the middle of a drama you can see) but honestly, I don’t waaaaaaaana doooooooooo this again!

I know I have no choice in the matter. I knew that they were hereditary and if Daisy had them chances on the next kid would have to. I know what the triggers are – over tiredness, over heating – and that I can try and stop them by heading in to rouse her just before that 3 hour mark when she is going from one sleep cycle to the next. So I know stuff, tools, mechanisms and have a whole lot more knowledge about then I did previously. But.

I don’t waaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnna doooooooooooo this again!

I know that some of the worst moments I have had as a parent, a wife and a person have been through these godforsaken terrors. I know the hours of sleep deprivation for all of us that they bring (and last time we didn’t have a whole other person that would be disturbed by them). I know the hours of sitting on the floor of a bedroom they bring. It’s all coming back to me now. Like your first contraction with your next baby…oh it all comes back alright.

But. Then again it could just be that she is sick or something right? It could just be that she had a few hiccups and things will go back to normal right? I mean surely they can’t occur here in this beautiful house in her sweet little bedroom and only in a cramped terrace in Camperdown right?! It could just be me getting ahead of myself right? RIGHT?!

If any one needs me, I will be sobbing into my coffee.


  1. oh hon,… been there with Jasper,.. its horrible,..truely horrible.. xx

  2. Firstly….. DON’T PANIC! Seriously, if this is a phase that Harper is entering, you are so much better prepared than you ever could have been first time round. My advice would be to spend a little time getting a plan in place and then implement it. Remember that it will pass and that you will survive… Amy’s night terrors started just after her first birthday and continued for nearly a year and it took us AGES to figure out what worked which was basically to try and head off the terrors like you said, but also to just leave her. Yes, crying it out, whilst in the middle of a night terror. Sounds awful and the first few times were, but it was the only way to get her back to sleep within a reasonable timeframe, otherwise we would all be awake for HOURS. With Stella we were well prepared and coincidence maybe, but her episodes were half as traumatic and lasted less than a month. Be strong!

  3. Oh no. Honey, I’ve been here (exactly a year ago) and I tried everything – warm baths, music to sleep, unwinding, nothing stimulating, lots of words of affirmation… and it took a while and finally stopped. But it was terrifying. Perhaps she’s out of whack with going away? That’s how ours started. We stopped television, everything to unstimulate Madison. And he freaked me out too. I was in tears a lot and wondering what the hell he was screaming about. Perhaps this might just stop tonight. Or not. Or maybe???

  4. You know that I know about crap sleepers. I know that panic of watching number 2 slip into bad sleep patterns all too well.

    Feel free to call or email me if you want to chat, vent or want advice.

    It may just help to know that someone else has been through it/is going through it.

    Take care as it sucks big time. Xxx

  5. I remember Abi having a few episodes like that. I put them down to the fact that her Dad travels alot and her routine is often out of whack…

    I know they definately happened when she was overtired, like, REALLY overtired…

    She might just be settling back into her new routine hun. It takes some time, and everyone is still getting used to the new house too.

    Hang in there, I hope it’s short lived!


  6. Hi Beth,

    I have been following your blog for awhile but never posting (sorry!) until now. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone. I get the same terrible feeling of doom and gloom when I know my son is about to get sick. We’ve been through so many looong sick nights (and days, but the nights are always worse, aren’t they?) that I get so anxious I almost make myself sick! I hope that Harper’s nights get better soon, for both of you!

  7. I so understand about sleep deprivation and desperation….but, I am going to go out on a limb here…all the latest research about brain development and emotional development shows that it is actually far better for your baby and toddler if you attend to them when they cry at night rather than leaving them to cry…this has been proven through testing cortisol levels etc…and as hard as it is for parents, they are still so little at this age…maybe she needs you to be there just a little longer. For some far more gentle tips on settling etc, check out Elizabeth Pantley’s website…and maybe imagine what it would be like to be not even two and scared…hope it gets better soon!

  8. See, this is the problem with numbers 2 plus. Yeah, yeah it’s great that we know ‘this too will pass’ and all that from the shenanigans of our first borns. But we also know the absolute HELL involved in waiting for the BLOODY NIGHTMARE to actually get on with it and PASS. So, I’m exactly like you. I freak out, I think ohmigodican’tgothroughthatagainit’sstilltoofreshandraw and contemplate quietly slitting my wrists in the bathroom while the child screams into the night like an endless air raid siren.

    But, yeah, you’re right. Sigh and suck it up, Beth my lovely. We just gotta get on with it. It will, you know, pass. It will. x

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